The former Migrants Open Centre in Marsa will be converted into administrative offices while its associated sports facilities will be administered by Marsa council, the Home Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday.

Times of Malta revealed on Tuesday that the few remaining migrants at the centre had been transferred to another facility at Ħal Far and the centre had been closed. 

The building, originally Dun Ġwann Mamo school, served as an open centre for migrants for several years, at one time hosting even more than the 500 migrants it was meant to accommodate.

The Home Affairs Ministry said that over the past few months, works were taken in hand for the building to be used for administrative purposes and become part of plans for the regeneration of the area. 

Sports facilities and other areas within the property will be administered by the local council. Some activities have already been held there by the council. 

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri pointed out during a visit to the site that the migrants centre had been closed without the burden being shifted to other towns.

"The Marsa community shouldered a disproportionate burden over the years and the government is committed to changing the situation," he said. 

He also pointed out that last year Malta saw more migrant departures than arrivals. The processing of asylum applications had become more efficient and a greater number of migrants who did not deserve protection were being repatriated, he added.   

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